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Anyone who has been following Maryland’s sluggish journey towards legalizing a mobile sports betting market understands that any steps forward at this point are welcomed, and this week the state’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) finally got busy.
On Wednesday, the SWARC held a no-nonsense meeting where they approved proposed certain mobile sports wagering regulations and applications as well as the proposed regulations and applications that were related to competitive retail facility sports betting licenses.
As this Tweet by sports betting reporter Bennett Conlin makes clear, SWARC’s action this week represents a step toward a mobile sports wagering launch in Maryland, something the gamblers there have been waiting for since that activity was made legal last year.
The SWARC approves proposed regulations and application materials. A step toward a mobile sports wagering launch in Maryland.
Worth noting the SWARC canceled its July 20 meeting. The group next meets on Aug. 17, but could call an emergency meeting earlier. https://t.co/3K16XTCZCD
— Bennett Conlin (@BennettConlin) July 13, 2022
Turns out it won’t be cheap to operate a mobile sportsbook in the Free State, with a $500k application fee a necessary requirement.
Any sportsbook that applies for and receives a mobile sports betting license in Maryland must pay half a million dollars to the state, a substantial fee that should be earned back with a well run mobile market in place, though, of course, each bookmaker’s results there will vary.
The retail sports book license costs half of what the mobile version runs, a $250k startup hit for any operator who wants to take bets in person there, a big business that over thirty other states have found to be worth it, with billions of dollars in handle generated in the U.S. annually.
Maryland punters can already legally sports gamble there in person, but the mobile option should increase that action exponentially as most sports fans enjoy watching their favorite pro teams from the comfort of their own leather couches.
For Old Line State gamblers, a few more hurdles must be endured before the mobile market can actually launch there.
Now that these regulations have been approved, applicants now have the information they need to prepare their cases for approval.
Meanwhile, the regulations will be reviewed by the Maryland Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review, with an “emergency approval” the goal for that part of the ongoing process.
SWARC Chairman Thomas Brandt is confident that things are moving as quickly as they need to be in order for the process to be done the correct and thorough way, and he recently told the media that a clearer timeline could be possible soon, saying:
Once the emergency SWARC regulations become effective and the industry analysis is completed, SWARC can set a date when formal applications and fees may be submitted. Then we’ll be in a position to set a timeline for additional actions.
Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency Director John Martin doesn’t see mobile sports betting launching anytime before fall of this year, but the closer that gets the odds that his prediction comes true decrease so keep checking back for all the latest news and updates.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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